Measure CC says in part “for many years, whenever there has been a reasonable opportunity to acquire undeveloped open space land from willing sellers the City Council has voted to do so. Measure CC will [...] insure this continued pattern for at least the next 20 years.” This will be achieved by establishing a five member Citizens’ Oversight Committee, which will essentially mirror past efforts of the City Council but with a $21 million price tag attached. Additional costs as well as loss of property tax revenue are not accounted for in this figure. These costs will include insurance, administration, and taxation. As the ownership of property is transferred from individuals to the city so will these financial obligations, which are difficult to estimate.
Furthermore, it is likely that a percentage of this land will be used for low impact public use such as community gardens, hiking trails and passive parks. Again, it is unclear how these will be funded.
Community gardens and passive parks already exist and will continue to grow without the aid of Measure CC. Our City Council has a long tradition of listening to and acting on the input from citizens concerned with creating parks and acquiring open space. A small passive park created on city property in Laguna Canyon was completed in June of this year.
Clearly the acquisition and conversion of open space property continues and is not in jeopardy. We have a proven workable system in place under the control of people we elect.
In all likelihood, unbuildable properties will remain open space until the City Council judiciously decides whether to buy them or not. I see Measure CC as expensive and unnecessary.
Michael Hallinan, Laguna Beach